Nurse [as she was walking out of the Dirty Utility room]: “Where’s the timer for the pregnancy tests?”
Secretary: “Oh, the lady from lab threw it out. It was expired.”
Nurse: “Wait. She came to our department and threw something in our department out? And she said that the timer expired?”
Secretary: “Yeah. She said that it could be a JCAHO violation if we were using an expired timer.”
Nurse: “It’s a f**king clock. How does a clock expire?”
Secretary: “Ask the ‘Lab Nazi.’”
We have to keep a timer in the Dirty Utility Room (which happens to be one of the many ROOMS in the emergency DEPARTMENT) so that pregnancy tests are read at precisely 3 minutes. If they are not read at 3 minutes, that could be a JCAHO violation because patient safety could suffer.
Now companies are apparently putting expiration dates on electronic equipment to assure patient safety. If electronic equipment is used past its expiration date, that could be a JCAHO violation.
They still haven’t replaced the timer in the Dirty Utility Room, so we’re officially screwed if the hospital gets inspected, but I also can’t verify whether these damn things have expiration dates on them. I need to know if anyone else out there has electronic equipment with expiration dates on it in the hospital. If so, please send me pictures. If anyone has any kind of proof about expiration of hospital electronics, I’d also appreciate it if you’d send me a copy so I can post it.
I am getting to the point that I want to become a JCAHO inspector just to mess with people’s heads. Imagine how much fun it would be to look at a chair, point at it, say it is expired, and then get 5 college graduates with advanced degrees to trip over each other in order to get rid of the chair. There’s probably some JCAHO internal message board somewhere with a Top 10 list of dumb things that surveyors got hospital admins to do.
All you medical supply companies – take note. You can increase your profits exponentially by putting an expiration date on all your equipment. Medical computers expire in 3 years. TVs used in hospitals expire in 2 years. Construction companies – chisel an expiration date in the hospitals you build. Ten years ought to do it.
Who gets to make up the rules that JCAHO follows, anyway?